12-year-old girl released from hospital after incident at Gunlock Falls

May 22, 2023, 6:39 PM | Updated: 6:51 pm

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah  – The 12-year-old girl pulled unconscious from the water at Gunlock Falls on Sunday has been released from the hospital, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

“They completely checked her out and that she was doing fine and was released to her family,” said Sgt. Darrell Cashin, who oversees the county’s search and rescue team. “So that was very good news. I’m hoping it will stay that way, but we have a big weekend coming.”

Gunlock Fire Chief Charley Guthrie was the first on the scene Sunday of the reported near drowning.

“Your heart drops when you get those calls,” he said. “You go as quick as you can because you know that time is everything on these kind of calls.”

This year's runoff makes for a beautiful sight at Gunlock Falls but it can be slick and dangerous first responders say. (KSL TV) This year's runoff makes for a beautiful sight at Gunlock Falls but it can be slick and dangerous first responders say. (KSL TV)


Guthrie said the girl was already being assisted by two bystanders with medical training.

First responders are relieved the girl is out of the hospital but are still worried about the crowds expected at Gunlock over Memorial Day weekend.

“With Gunlock Falls being so popular, the water’s still running, that’s going to get packed and I’m afraid somebody’s going to step wrong, slip wrong or jump off those cliffs,” Cashin said. “I know for a fact that off the big cliff there is a huge boulder underneath that water and you can’t see it until you hit it.”

Chasin said he recognizes that Gunlock Falls is a beautiful sight to see. His best advice: keep ten feet back but stay out of the water.

“Observe it, have fun, have your picnic but don’t be crossing it,” he said.

Guthrie said that Gunlock Falls is a difficult place for rescuers to reach. He said it’s imperative to watch children around the waterfall.

“We’ve had issues with people jumping off the cliffs into the pots of water—you can’t see the hazards underneath and so it can be really dangerous,” Guthrie said. “The other thing, this is sandstone and it’s also referred to as slick rock. It’s slick and it can be quite treacherous.”

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12-year-old girl released from hospital after incident at Gunlock Falls